[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Overview of Graduate Studies

Fields of Study

Ph.D in Chemistry

M.S in Chemistry

Admission Requirements

Application Information

Information for Incoming Graduate Students

UIC Connect

Graduate Cumulative Exams

The Department of Chemistry offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy graduate degree programs. Both degree programs include course work and research as described below.

Our outstanding graduate faculty directs over 130 graduate students and 20 postdoctoral associates in research that results in approximately 100 publications per year. Faculty research groups represent the spectrum of chemistry, including analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry as well as interdisciplinary research. Funded research in excess of $4.8 million per year from external sources provides outstanding laboratories facilities and support for advanced graduate students as research assistants, thereby allowing them to concentrate more fully on their thesis research.

Graduate students in the Department work closely with faculty research advisors in order to acquire the skills to become independent researchers and problem solvers. The faculty has been recognized by a number of prestigious awards over the past few years. Please view our research faculty page for more information.

A devoted staff and excellent support facilities aid the research of the faculty and students. The research laboratories of the Department are housed in two buildings constructed in the late 1960's.

Fields of Study

Study in the Department of Chemistry is formally organized in the traditional sub-disciplines of analytical, inorganic, organic, physical and biochemistry, but there are numerous overlaps both within the Department, such as organometallic and biophysical chemistry, and with other departments, such as molecular biology and molecular physics.

Entering graduate students typically spend much of their first year acquiring a base of advanced knowledge about chemistry before they concentrate on research in a more highly specialized field (in pursuit of their Ph.D. degree). Study can involve coursework, seminars, consultation or informal study with individual professors.

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Ph.D. program is an individualized program worked out between the students and advisor within the framework of the Department and the Graduate College. The Graduate College requires 96 hours of course work, including thesis research, beyond the baccalaureate for the Ph.D. It is possible for students entering with an accredited master's degree to transfer up to 32 hours.

Entering students take a series of placement examinations, based on undergraduate material typical of programs approved by the American Chemical Society, in analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical. Students are required to show proficiency in three of the five areas by achieving a score of 50 percentile. Scores less than 50 percentile indicate a deficiency that must be remedied by taking a 400- or 500-level course. Students are required to remedy deficiencies in their first year. Such an approach is designed to assure a good background for taking specialized courses and successful accomplishment of thesis research. The Graduate Advising Committee directs the candidate's course work in the period before a thesis advisor has been selected.

Departmental guidelines for the Ph.D. require a minimum of 9 credit hours in lecture courses at the 500-level in the area of specialization and 3 credit hours in different fields of chemistry outside this area. Chemistry graduate students usually take additional courses, particularly special topics courses, during their time in the Department. A description of graduate chemistry course offerings in all areas of study can be found in the link Graduate Course Work.

Four departmental exams on advanced specialized topics, the cumulative exams, must be passed during the first two years. Eight such exams are offered each year. One exam must be passed before the end of the first year of the program and the remaining exams must be passed by the end of the second year. Candidates are encouraged to take the examinations regularly upon entering the program and are required to do so after two semesters in residence.

Individual research is the major component of Ph.D. training. All students select an advisor after meeting with the faculty in their area of interest as well as attending presentations by the faculty. When the research work is well underway, the candidate chooses a research committee that will review the progress toward the Ph.D. This committee will advise the student through the completion of research and thesis composition, and will then act as the examination committee as required by the Graduate College. The results of the research are presented in a seminar to the examination committee as well as members of the Department and the public. Finally the examination committee questions the candidate in a closed session before approving the thesis.

The Master of Science Degree

The M.S. program provides professional training beyond the baccalaureate. Entering students take a series of placement examinations, based on undergraduate material typical of programs approved by the American Chemical Society, in inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Students are required to show proficiency in each of these three areas by achieving a score of 50 percentile. Scores less than 50 percentile indicate a deficiency that must be remedied by taking a 400- or 500-level course. Students are required to remedy deficiencies in their first year of study. In selecting their course work (with the help of the Graduate Advising Committee), students remedy any deficiencies in their backgrounds and then take advanced courses to broaden their knowledge. A total of 32 hours of graduate-level courses is currently required; at least 24 of the 32 hours must be within the Department of Chemistry. At least four lecture courses must be taken at the 500 level. The selection of these courses depends upon the interest and career objective of each student and on areas of strength and deficiencies in the student's background. A description of graduate chemistry course offerings in all areas of study can be found under Graduate Course Work. Thesis research courses may be included in an M.S. program, but no more than a total of 8 semester hours of thesis research, independent studies and seminar courses may be credited toward the M.S. degree. A master’s thesis must be presented and approved when credit hours in thesis research are used to fulfill the 32-credit-hour requirement for the M.S. degree.


Thank you for your interest in the graduate program of the Department of Chemistry at UIC. We look forward to receiving your application and appreciate your interest in doing graduate work in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. We have a research faculty of 25, 15 postdoctoral research associates, and a diverse group of over 130 graduate students who study problems in biochemistry, analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. For detailed information regarding our current research, please access our home page—http://www.chem.uic.edu—and click on "Faculty & Staff". Then click on the individual faculty names to review their research.

All of the items listed below would be needed to submit a complete application. If you need clarification or additional information, please send your questions to chemgrad@uic.edu.


(Documents should be in PDF format.)

If you are an international applicant, you also need to provide:

Application for Graduate Study

The Application for Graduate Study is to be completed on-line at http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/grad/apply_grad_degree.html. The application fee can be paid on-line with a credit card only at the time of the submission of your application.

Original Transcripts and Proof of Degree

Credentials (transcripts, academic records, diplomas, certificates of degrees, etc) must be uploaded directly to the online application. English translations should also be uploaded if the credentials are not in English. All credentials uploaded to the online application are considered unofficial.

If you are admitted, you will be asked to submit official or attested credentials in a sealed envelope, with a certification stamp across the seal. Please do not send these official documents until we request them from you.

Application for Graduate Appointment / Statement of Purpose

The Application for Graduate Appointment form includes space for your Statement of Purpose on the second page, however, please provide your statement as a separate document.

Letters of recommendation

You will need to provide email addresses of your references. A request for a letter of recommendation will then be sent to the designated individual. The application system will keep track of requests that have been sent and when references have submitted their recommendation letter.

Letters must be written by professors or employers who can accurately comment on your academic and research ability. All letters must be signed and typed on institutional letterhead.

General, Subject GRE Test Scores and TOEFL

Please ask ETS to send reports of your GRE general test, GRE subject test in chemistry, and TOEFL report to UIC. (UIC’s institutional code is 1851, and our departmental code is 0301.) Since it sometimes takes two months for the GRE scores to reach us, you can help us by enclosing a photocopy of your test reports with your application. The GRE scores provide a measure of your academic progress and are also necessary information in order to be considered for a possible future fellowship. The Department of Chemistry has not established official, minimum score requirements for the GRE tests. Please note that an application is considered incomplete without the GRE subject (chemistry) test.

The minimum TOEFL score required by the University of Illinois at Chicago is 213 for the computer-based test. For the TOEFL iBT test, a minimum total score of 80 is required with minimum sub-scores as follows: Writing 21; Speaking 20; Listening 17; Reading 19. Note that the total score has been set higher than the sum of the sub-scores.

For the IELTS test, a minimum total score of 6.5 is required with the following minimum sub-scores: Listening 6.0; Writing 6.0; Reading 6.0; Speaking 6.0.

Please note that the TOEFL or IELTS examinations are not required for students who have completed at least two academic years of full-time study in a country where English is the native language and in a school where English is the language of instruction within five years of the proposed date of enrollment at UIC.

International Student Declaration and Certification of Finances

It is not necessary to send your completed International Student Declaration and Certification of Finances form until you are admitted and receive an offer from the Department of Chemistry. In that case, you will receive notification requesting that you provide us with this document.

Submitting your application and deadlines

The deadline to receive all application materials from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or international students who are applying for the Fall 2013 semester is February 15, 2013.

Applications are reviewed as soon as they are complete. For fullest consideration, both for admission and potential University Fellowship awards, submit your application and all supporting documents before January 1, 2013.

Funding Graduate Study

Most first-year graduate students in the Chemistry Department are supported through teaching assistantships. The level of support for students who entered in the Fall of 2012 is approximately $24,000 for 12 months. Students are considered for research assistantships (support from a research grant), after they are established in a research group and have demonstrated substantial research ability. In addition, all graduate students holding teaching or research assistantships are exempted from tuition and the service fee. The remission of tuition and service fees is equivalent to approximately $15,000 per year for residents and $33,000 per year for non-residents.

At the beginning of each calendar year, the Graduate College awards a limited number of University Fellowships, based on an all-campus competition, to outstanding applicants. These awards, which carry an annual stipend of $21,012 and a tuition and service fee waiver, depend primarily on the academic promise and scholarly achievement of the applicant. If you are applying for the Fall 2013 semester and wish to be considered for a University Fellowship, please be sure to submit your application and all supporting documents before January 1, 2013.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]